RovingFiddlehead KidLit

STEM Program Ideas for Libraries

December 13, 2012

There are a lot of great STEM program ideas out there. In addition to ongoing Tech Club and CoderDojo programs, here are some activities I am considering for the months ahead.

Squishy Circuits

Top of my list – Squishy Circuits! How awesome is this idea from St. Thomas University?! By using batches of both sugar-based and salt-based playdough, electric circuits can be created with a fun and safe product. Check out the possibilities in AnnMarie Thomas’ TED talk.

Circuit sewing. A true STEAM activity, mixing sewing and electronics. While I’ve seen some amazing projects out their with tshirts, bicycle turn signals and blinking zombie eyes, the flashing bracelets kids made at Makeshop seems like a realistic starting point!

3d printed owl

3D printed jewelry. Tech Club has visited the Engineering College’s 3D Printer Lab, but for the spring a local inventor team is willing to bring the 3D printer (above printing an owl) they are making to the library for an inhouse demo. Maybe we can design and print necklaces!

Mini Wind Turbines. The University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education has fabulous resources and last spring led a mini solar car workshop. This year, it would be fun to try out their mini-wind turbines and bring in somebody from the nearby Acciona Wind Power Power Plant as well.

Balloon Cars. Good clear directions at Cool Progeny, with room for creativity and exploration.

Dry Ice Bouncing Bubbles. Steve Spangler has a kit for sale, but I’d like to try and rig it up myself first.

Ultimate goal, a Maker Faire. Really, Iowa City needs to have a mini Maker Faire. Folks are working on establishing a Makerspace here. Wouldn’t this be a good introduction to bring lots of people on board?

Follow my STEM Pinterest board for future ideas. Please add your program ideas in the comments!

4 thoughts on “STEM Program Ideas for Libraries

  1. Brilliant! I’m sure it will be a great success.
    Have you read about the Maker Faire in Santiago, Chile (this weekend I think) http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://makerfairesantiago.com/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmini%2Bmakerspace%2Bideas%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26tbo%3Dd&sa=X&ei=FZDMULKkK8Wh0QXSj4DgCQ&ved=0CFcQ7gEwBQ .
    There is a list of magazines which might have maker ideas towards the end of the page.

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